Taseer’s assassination: Extremism of British Pakistanis exposed

Published: January 16, 2011
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Lawyers chant slogans in support of arrested bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the alleged killer of Punjab's governor Salmaan Taseer, during his appearnce in court in Islamabad on January 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Lawyers chant slogans in support of arrested bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the alleged killer of Punjab's governor Salmaan Taseer, during his appearnce in court in Islamabad on January 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LONDON: The assassination of Salmaan Taseer has exposed the extent of extremist thinking even amongst Pakistani expatriates in Britain.

Speaking to British Pakistanis living in an East London locality, The Express Tribune found many supporters of Taseer’s murderer while a few spoke up in favour of the rule of law.

“When a person kills someone he has killed all of humanity”, says Tabassum, a hijab wearing British-born Pakistani. “Yes, tawheen-e-risalat is a big issue but to just kill someone for a few words, that can’t be justice” says another British-born young woman.

Sadiq Akbar, an architect living in the same vicinity, berates the conservatism that has taken hold amongst many Pakistanis. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and some of us Muslims are ‘lakeer ka fakir’ who will kill for the slightest thing.”

Digging a little deeper, it becomes apparent that he lays much of the blame on Taseer himself. “These are sensitive issues and Salmaan Taseer should have used his words more carefully, or apologised,” he points out. “Also, we know that he drank alcohol and this confirms that he wasn’t a Muslim.”

Farzana Ali spent a lot of time watching local Muslim channels in the days following the murder. “The media played a large role in the response here in London,” she says. Local Muslim channels largely promoted the view that Salmaan Taseer was to blame for his own murder, she explains. “Lots of people here supported the killing,” she says. “They think in black and white  terms but I say there is a middle way. We have no right to take another’s life.”

Men streaming out of the local mosque questioned on the issue saw no middle way. Khwaja Ahmed Ali, a car dealer originally from Lahore and living in Britain for the last 19 years, was one such person.“He deserved to be punished for what he said, what happened was right and good.” According to him, mere mention of a change in the blasphemy law deserves extra-judicial killing.

A crowd gathers outside the mosque and all the men agree that Taseer’s murder was justified. “No-one has the right to change Shariah law,” says another namazi. “We consider it a crime to even talk about it.”

“If he called it a ‘kala qanoon’ then it was right to kill him” says Allah Ditta, who has lived in this community for many years. “The government failed to take action so it became the duty of individuals to do so.”

Muslims of a liberal mindset are finding life increasingly difficult in these communities. “I’ve been living here for 14 years,” says Nusrat, mother of three. “I was amazed at the reaction I got last year during Ramazan when I was eating something while sitting in my car. What is going on?”

A Pakistani Christian who has lived here for some 20 years discovered his Muslim friends were not moderate. “They were overwhelmingly in favour of the murder,” he says, adding, “It was quite an eye-opener.”

Outside the mosque one lone voice is raised above all those baying for blood. “Shame on all of you!” says a white haired man in a skull cap. “Where does it say in the Quran that you can just kill someone?”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Majnun
    Jan 16, 2011 - 2:33PM

    I do not find any balance or moderation in your news reporting increasingly. Express Tribune should reconsider its journalistic preferences.Recommend

  • Talha
    Jan 16, 2011 - 2:33PM

    The British Pakistani community is absolutely radicalised and so hypocritical. I am shocked by the extremist mindset that prevails amongst them.Recommend

  • Anoop M
    Jan 16, 2011 - 2:43PM

    This is an eye opener for me . I ,as an Indian , always believed that most of Pakistani people are friendly ,open to others and respect others .It was just the political and military class who choose to supress their sane voices . But this is a shocking revelation . To me , each person has its freedom to choose his or her own God .That is the dialogue between an individual and his Almighty . no outsider can shake his belief in his God , if it is pure and honest as it is in him that He resides . Who has given any right for any one to kill others who disagrees with him ? But now , facts after Mr. Taseer unfortunate killing and the Pakistani masses response in general has forced me to re-think about my views on how things actually stand in Pakistan. My friends , pls. wake up before this menace consume your society .Recommend

  • zafar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 3:31PM

    where r we heading.? I’M SPEECHLESS————Recommend

  • Harish Advani
    Jan 16, 2011 - 3:40PM

    If drinking alcohol was the main criteria for being a MUSLIM,then the overwhelming majority of MUSLIM MEN in the UK can be categorised as NON MUSLIMS.I’m sure most of your readers have heard of the common refrain’Muslim men drinking in the garden shed’.Also NHS figures for Cirrhosis suffers in the UK will bear out the above comment/observation.I hope you will publish my comment and not censor it on PC grounds.Recommend

  • Eradi
    Jan 16, 2011 - 3:45PM

    Whether there is balance or moderation in the article is a matter of opinion for the reader I suppose, but the views quoted in this piece are certainly not balanced or moderate, so to criticise the writer for not being moderate by quoting them is – duh – a bit rich. I fear for the UK if people living here think it is right to go around killing others just because they don’t hold the same views. Or indeed, just because they don’t happen to take the koran as the literal word of god. That’s a matter of opinion too. The law in this country allows anyone to state their views freely, but it does not allow people to kill someone for not sharing that view.

    Salmaan Taseer was trying to prevent the murder of a woman whose supposed ‘crime’ was to make her own choices about how to live her life. She had not hurt anyone. And yet Taseer’s killer has been feted as if he has removed some monster from society. Is this what ‘moderate’ Muslims think Asia Bibi was? The mob of rabid, hysterical fist-wavers are supposedly educated, enlightened professionals, but scratch the surface, and the seething mess of twisted extremism is revealed within them. They support a man who killed someone for showing decency and compassion to another human being. Hey, what’s not to like?

    It would be very reassuring therefore if the moderate Muslims that we keep hearing about would speak up against the Muslims who promulgate these barbaric views. But they do not and I have to wonder why. Is it because they fear for their own lives? What does it mean to be a ‘moderate’ Muslim? If being Muslim means that you believe that the koran is word of god, and if the Koran states that apostasy is punishable by death, does that mean you are not a true Muslim if you don’t agree? These are complex issues, and I wish that some of them could be clarified so that we all know where we stand with regard to the position of ‘moderate’ Muslims. So, Majnun, where do you stand exactly?Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 16, 2011 - 4:09PM

    England remains the breeding ground of extremist ideology in the form of Hizbul Tehrir*HT), if not in its violent manifestation. Yet. Who can deny that the Nigerian bomber caught in the US had some indoctrination from this land of the group. The large chunk of the same radical extremist HT in Pakistan consist of highly educated individuals. They all have the views expressed above. Thank you ET for pointing it out, though it is all clear since the day first. Only that for people it’s hard to swallow this bitter pill. Recommend

  • european
    Jan 16, 2011 - 4:17PM

    There should be no naive tolerance for these peoples or for the other hypocritical muslim communities in Europe….Recommend

  • FK
    Jan 16, 2011 - 5:04PM

    There is nothing left to be proud of in this country. I cant think of anything to be proud of. Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2011 - 5:08PM

    My wife, a Pakistani Christian, lives in our house in Preston, UK. She has said exactly the same to me in the last few days, and was herself shocked that so many of her Muslim friends thought in this way. Myself – not at all surprised. The UK Muslim community is if anything even more conservative than Pakistan. No surprise at all.Recommend

  • britpak2011
    Jan 16, 2011 - 5:12PM

    this is so, so stupid. you have picked a group of pakistanis living in east london. there are millions in the uk. and you painted them all with the same brush…Recommend

  • Mujtaba Haydar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 5:23PM

    Unfortunately, this mindset does not arise from religiosity, but by following the same extremist culture from Pakistan. Honestly, can society in Pakistan be deemed as being Islamic? This article shows that some its interviewees are mainly naturalised British Pakistani’s, the majority of whom hardly ever make an inkling of an effort to rid their backward ideals, even whilst spending their whole lifetimes in this country, so no surprise there!.

    On a lighter note, second generation British Pakistani’s, like myself, have been brought up in an environment and culture that encourages frank and independent thinking and persona. And WE thought of his unfortunate murder as being absolutely horrendous and dastardly, to say the least. Salman Taseer NEVER insulted our Prophet Muhammad (saww), but he was critical, and rightly so, of a law that was constantly abused against the minorities, and it wasn’t a divine law either.

    Another sad fact we noticed was that the mainstream news channels hyped up, so to speak, Salman Taseer’s opinion regarding the law, which no doubt vexed up the ‘common’ Pakistani emotions that resulted in his horrific murder. And the most saddest fact of all is that these news channels regularly create these poignant hypes to increase viewer ratings! Talk about responsible journalism, and WE find it disgusting.

    We very well know and understand that the incumbent ‘maulvi’ Pakistan will continue to reek in havok as long as this religious and authoritarian ‘stranglehold’ on the government and society is at helms. We passionately dream of a Pakistan that was envisioned by Dr Alama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, hence why WE wish to call ourselves Jinnah’s Pakistanis, or BJP’s!…If only these ‘people’ also knew what Jinnah was all about.

    Salman Taseer undertook an extremely brave and humanitarian stance to confront the injustice that was confronting the Christian woman and his ultimate sacrifice will reverberate and imbue, inshallah, calls for greater justice and rights for humanity. WE will never forget him. Shaheed Salman Taseer Zindabad. Recommend

  • abdullah
    Jan 16, 2011 - 5:47PM

    this is so wrong i dnt know y does the media portray a group of ppl 2 b so big and express tribune is doing it efficiently..the statement itself is very biased and means as if evey 1 is involved ..there r more tham million pakis in britain ..i think so no media group follows ethicsRecommend

  • Mujtaba Haydar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 5:52PM

    why?Recommend

  • Mujtaba Haydar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 6:21PM

    Unfortunately, this mindset does not arise from religiosity, but by following the same extremist culture from Pakistan. Honestly, can society in Pakistan be deemed as being Islamic? This article shows that some of its interviewees are mainly naturalised British Pakistani’s, the majority of whom hardly ever make an inkling of an effort to rid their backward ideals, even whilst spending their whole lifetimes in this country, so no surprise there!.

    On a lighter note, second generation British Pakistani’s, like myself, have been brought up in an environment and culture that encourages frank and independent thinking and persona. And WE thought of his murder as being absolutely horrendous and dastardly, to say the least. Salman Taseer NEVER insulted our Prophet Muhammad (saww), but he was critical, and rightly so, of a law that was constantly abused against the minorities, and it wasn’t a divine law either.

    Another sad fact we noticed was that the mainstream news channels hyped up, so to speak, Salman Taseer’s opinion regarding the law, which no doubt vexed up the ‘common’ Pakistani emotions that resulted in his horrific murder. And the most saddest fact of all is that these news channels regularly create these poignant hypes to increase viewer ratings! Talk about responsible journalism, and WE just find it disgusting.

    We very well know and understand that the incumbent ‘maulvi’ Pakistan will continue to reek in havok as long as this religious and authoritarian ‘stranglehold’ on the government and society is at helms. We passionately dream of a Pakistan that was envisioned by Dr Alama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, hence why WE wish to call ourselves Jinnah’s Pakistanis.

    Salman Taseer undertook an extremely brave and humanitarian stance to confront the injustice that was confronting the Christian woman, and his ultimate sacrifice will reverberate and imbue, inshallah, calls for greater justice and rights for humanity. WE will never forget him.Recommend

  • shahab
    Jan 16, 2011 - 7:02PM

    killing is never justified in islam, sharia (law of islam) is the strongest law ever available to humans, virtually every case can be effectively dealt with it, forgiveness is the primary modality of it. Keeping this in mind, a question arises why late Taseer was not questioned by court/government after his bad remarks agaisnt the blasphemy law and the courts? calling it ignorance on part of government or the courts, again no one is justified to kill by his own. If someone is hurt, indeed 99.9% of Pakistanis were, he/she should have approached the courts and law. Does this event points toward frustration, running in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people, when things are not happening as it should be? or does it shows the state of uncertainity, lack of law and justice and failure of government and its institutions? or was the killing politically motivated? can we consider it an oppurtunity provided by late Taseer by chance and establishment has availed it fully to make things going and absorb international pressure? or simply it was an act of individual in ignorance? what ever it may be, killing is never justified.
    Those who talk about secularism and think liberally they should remember the time and reason why Pakistan came into existence. Pakistan is defined as Islamic Republic in constitution and where every citizen can enjoy freedom and live their lives under the ethical codes set by Quran & Sunna and Sharia is the law to be practiced. If someone is deviating from this for any reason, it will be an act on his own, and asking for liberalism and trying to make Pakistan a secular state is impossible. Pakistan was not created for secularism.
    Coming to Asia Bibi’s case, she has been covicted for a crime she committed and the blasphemy law dealing her case is not new to her case, this law existed for years and to tell the truth 95% of those convicted under this law are muslim themselves. It was a blunder on part of late Taseer to arrange a press conference, call this law a ‘black law’ and pass statements against the court and law. If he was so much worried for her he should have dealt the case legally in courts and appealed to review the decision in higher courts.
    Calling blasphemy law a black law, a wrong one and against human rights is totally rubbish. Has western countries achieved high social values by making so much fun of Prophet Jesus ( we condemn it too) all socially unacceptable and against the nature activities are practiced in western countries, they call it modernasim and liberalism. But Pakistan is not a western country it is an Islamic Republic and has its own culture influenced by Islam and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Not a single Muslim will ever allow any person to humiliate and make fun of our beloved Prophet and any Prophet, this is sure.
    Rounding it up, extra judicial killing is prohibited in Islam and never justified but in chess game at time one does delibertly loose a Bishop to make things going in his favor.Recommend

  • MNA
    Jan 16, 2011 - 7:13PM

    Hypocracy becomes our national character.Recommend

  • dg
    Jan 16, 2011 - 7:15PM

    If internet forums are any indications, please check how many of the discussions in this regard has frustrated the liberal voices and had to be terminated.

    The people who are still having their heads in the sand and think the world in different shades will be surprised that most from Pakistan have only black and white views of this. Only that the liberal voices are few only, silent (or the people who tolerate) slightly more and the extreme views are maximum and aggressive.

    It is too late already. The world is slowly losing hope on Pakistan. Take my words – even China will desert some day.

    Still we Indian hope (against all odds) that Pakistan will crawl back to sanity as the deeper mess will affect India the most. Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Jan 16, 2011 - 7:22PM

    This is not extremism or radicalism, but a “Robin Hood” effect that a crime has taken. Unfortunately, there are times when crimes do have a Robin Hood effect. Britons would understand that very well.

    One must realize that Salman Taseer was not a liberal but a radical left wing fascist (God bless his soul), who took joy in offending masses by his obnoxious statements.

    The reaction among the masses in general is that of good riddance, even in non-religious circles that are commonly termed as extremists.Recommend

  • Sana
    Jan 16, 2011 - 7:31PM

    well I think that it is mistake to generalize the whole Brit-Pak community which is as diverse as Pakistanis living in their own homeland. Surely their views will differ from each other. However, it’s a request to moderate Brit-Pakistanis to please keep an eye on such extremist people.Recommend

  • Karim Khan
    Jan 16, 2011 - 8:06PM

    This goes to show that a sick personality will hardly change even if you take it to London. And how nice to learn that there are still moderate Muslims like the old men referred to at the end of the post! Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2011 - 8:07PM

    no wonder the world is scared of us Pakistanis….Recommend

  • bold
    Jan 16, 2011 - 8:46PM

    I’ve been saying this for a long that that the Pakistani British community is one of the most radicalized group I’ve met.. they clearly have a massive identity crisis. Islam is really indoctrinated their minds.. Britian really needs to look carefully at who they let in and who they give citizenship to. Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Jan 16, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Islam has been hijacked by the mullas. Blasphemy has no worldly punishment. Taseer rightfully criticized the law.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Jan 16, 2011 - 9:03PM

    “Also, we know that he drank alcohol and this confirms that he wasn’t a Muslim.”
    Another definition of a ‘Muslim’. One wonders who is Muslim and is a non-Muslim? Recommend

  • Talha
    Jan 16, 2011 - 9:50PM

    However the Pakistani ‘minority’ communities like the Ahmadis are very peaceful with moderate views and also high profile in improving the image of Pakistanis abroad.Recommend

  • Adbawany
    Jan 16, 2011 - 10:13PM

    For the drinking part, it is haraam, but does that make you wajib-ul-qatal?Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 16, 2011 - 10:52PM

    @ Majnun

    Why should Tribune change its policy? Should it support the extremists? If you do not agree with the editorial line, you start reading some other “available products”. I assure you there are many which can satisfy your needs.
    By the way, your reaction has proven what the reporter wanted to describe in the news item.Recommend

  • sUPERB
    Jan 16, 2011 - 11:16PM

    ridiculous heading, is this Pakistani newspaper. what the hell is going on there.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Jan 16, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Dear Brothers, What I find sad here is that most of our brothers don’t know the Shariah Perspective of this issue.. It is indeed a very complex issue especially after what has been done. I would request you all to please understand this issue in the light of Quran and Sunnah and then built an opinion or perception of who was right or wrong.. For a very brief insight go through this,

    And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist, etc.) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger ( Muhammad SAW). (Al-Furqan 25:27)…

    “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had… never taken so-and-so as a friend! (Al-Furqan 25:28)

    “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’ân) after it had come to me. And Shaitân (Satan) is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” (Al-Furqan 25:29)

    These verses were revealed when ubayya ibne khalaf insulted face of Rasool salal lahao leihi wasalam on motivation of uqba bin abee mueet and Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam later on killed him after badar for this crime
    Ref: please check Tafseer ibne abbad ,tafseer jala lain and asbab nuzool e quran and ibne kaseerRecommend

  • Kashif akhtar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 11:42PM

    I say Britian should kick out all those with the radical views back to Punjab. Half the media in Pakistan is on N’s payroll and we all know where his support comes from. Recommend

  • Mujtaba Haydar
    Jan 16, 2011 - 11:50PM

    @shahab, Your statement is anything but diabolical. You should brush up your reading on Pakistan’s history. Would the Quaid e Azam have demanded anything of the sort we have today? NO!, but I guess your the sort that wouldn’t be too fond of him in the first place.

    And it is well known the extent to which the Muslims in Pakistan follow, or ‘would’ follow, the so called “ethical codes set by Quran & Sunna and Sharia”. How on earth can you demand shariah rule when there are so many different sects with varied opinions over the texts? If you really do live by such “ethical codes” then why don’t you just jog on to Saudi Arabia? You do not have the right to impose anything on us. Ipso facto, there is no priesthood in Islam.

    The ideal of Pakistan was to allow Muslims in the sub-continent to realise their potentials in cultural, scientific and economic areas ‘independently’. It certainly wasn’t meant to be playing field for the cruel mullahs to force ‘their’ religion down on people! Another fact to remember is that these same mullah’s were vehemently opposed to the creation of Pakistan and Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, they even slapped the fatwa of kufr against them!!!

    Pakistani’s are naturally a secular people, and as their most favoured destination for almost every expatriate Pakistani community is based in the west, it won’t be long until we realise Pakistan to be a fully secular country in the near future, inshallah. Pakistani’s need to face this coming truth, and indeed black laws like the blasphemy law shall continue to sink it’s societies regard for humanity to new lows.Recommend

  • Romm
    Jan 17, 2011 - 12:03AM

    A Khan
    Right wingers have always used Clergy Men. I am Leftist and proud of that. Once these Mujahideen were Heroes of Righest Rascals, now they are villains. By the way its confusing Rightest Bugs with Leftist Prophet( Sulman Taseer). He is saint because he said, what He Believed! The strength of a leftist is his Truth so as per Leftist standard, he is Saint. Religious Rascals are Synonmous to Rightest.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Jan 17, 2011 - 12:55AM

    I would be pretty scared if I were a British Citizen and read this piece.Recommend

  • Disco Molvi
    Jan 17, 2011 - 3:39AM

    Whatever this article states is nothing new. A lot of Radical Muslims are present in England majority of whom are of Pakistani background, and are openly and actively spreading their ideologies in UK, taking refuge under the very laws of the country they speak against in their sermons.
    E.g Abu Hamza, an egyptian radical cleric, used to live freely in London and was the Imam of Finsbury Park mosque (which used to hand out CDs of beheadings and hate literature) before being imprisoned in 2004.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AbuHamzaal-MasriRecommend

  • Eradi
    Jan 17, 2011 - 4:06AM

    @A Khan.
    So you think that we should all congratulate Taseer’s sick killer? Why are religious people (and I mean all religions, not just islam) so quick to take offence? If you are secure in your faith and how you live it, then nothing should be able to shake you. Blasphemy laws are a joke, and the ‘good riddance’ response shows massive insecurity – it would be laughable if it didn’t always have such tragic results.
    I reserve the right to say what I feel on any subject, and if that offends anyone, I’m sorry they feel that way, but that’s their problem, not mine.

    It’s time everyone grew up.Recommend

  • Amused
    Jan 17, 2011 - 5:57AM

    yea and killing of several thousand people to secure interests in terms of oil reveals the extreme british mindset too. what nonsense. one murder or thousands? in history of pakistan not as many people have been slain as in the name of security through this war of terror.but why should we talk about that when we can brandish our humanity by condeming any life taken for religious principles. apparantly taking various life indiscriminatly, abusing and torturing doesnot warrant that people of all the allied coalition in this barbarian war are also then extremist.hypocrates.Recommend

  • Burger Boy
    Jan 17, 2011 - 7:29AM

    There seems to be a lack of balance at the Express TribuneRecommend

  • M Islam
    Jan 17, 2011 - 6:33PM

    This article is total “waste of space” and complete baseless and misrepresenting. By making tantalising eye-catching heading and not giving enough convincing contents in the report – you are giving away a very good example of bad journalism to your readers. Recommend

  • FARHAN
    Jan 17, 2011 - 8:53PM

    @Mujnon

    I agree that the heading should be ‘Rising extremism in british Pakistanis’ and not we have seen here.

    But, at the same time we should learn to say what is right and what is wrong…..Taseers’ murder was wrong and we all should condemn this brutal act.

    And, those who say blasphemy is a complex issue must also realise that we should encourage dialogue to make complex issues simpler….We dont need emotions, we need logic and hard work to make Pakistan a progressive country.

    @All

    As a society, we should also see some other aspects of radicalism around us. Most of us usually underline radicalism in our society in perspective of relion only, which is not wrong, but also need to study completely why are we going from bad to worst in radicalism. Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 17, 2011 - 9:50PM

    Stay cool yar. Just imagine that the Pakistanis in UK are not extremists. In that case, there must be some thing wrong with them because everyone is Pakistan is a extremist. Therefore, someone can ask them to check their true origins. Why are you so perturbed whenever reality is presented. I was just walking towards the office on The Mall in Lahore in the evening and the protectors of Islam were roaming freely on the road after a rally. I thanked God that Madhuri, Depika, Arora and others were born in India while Angelina Jolie in the US and Salma Hayek Mexico. In case they were in Pakistan or any Bedouin-like society, they would surely had six to eight children while serving the God-given husbands with bodies and “subdued intellect”. They may also had been placed in “Heera Mandi” or under the control of some mullahs.
    Reality is that we extremists, in fact religious fanatics. One should accept it given the fact that Islam preaches speaking truth at all cost and dislikes dishonesty.
    Those who are asking the Tribune to stop publishing the “unholy lines”, just want to impose the Waziristan on the whole world. That is why they are taking refuge in Islam. Recommend

  • Pakistani 11
    Jan 17, 2011 - 11:37PM

    I have doubts over the reliability of this survey. you can not make such sweeping generalizations.Recommend

  • Daddy Cool
    Jan 18, 2011 - 2:10AM

    From the outset this article is fundamentally flawed. I cannot really see the correlation between the image of the Pakistani lawyer demonstrators and that of the ‘Extremism of British Pakistanis exposed’ headline. It would have been more credible to find and use an image of British Pakistani Muslims demonstrators. Has there been any demonstration from Pakistani Muslims in Britain praising Salman Taseer’s assasination?

    The headline is an exaggeration of the true extent of Muslim extremism in the UK. A couple of years ago, the gutter press in the UK, used an almost identical headline ‘University campuses hotbed of Islamic extremism and radicalism’. The universities conducted their own investigation and found no evidence of extremism. The investigation was highlighted in the British ‘Muslim News‘, newspaper.

    As a few have already pointed out this article seriously lacks journalistic integrity, impartiality and is way too generalized. Come on, you took the opinions of a very small cross section of Pakistani Muslims from a Mosque in East London (a socially deprived area of London) and tarred the whole Muslim community in Britain with the same brush? You might as well have interviewed a few people from the lunatic fringe, captain Hook and his Motley crew (Belmarsh prison and Finsbury Mosque) and presented this as the view of the entire Muslim community in the UK, just like Murdochian tabloid empire does. There is such a diversity amongst Muslims living in Britain based on ethnicity, race, nationality and of course Islamic schools of thought. You could have taken the opinions from Pakistani Muslims living in Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow.

    The Express Tribune found many supporters of Taseer’s murderer while a few spoke up in favour of the rule of law. Ratio wise how many were supporters of the murder and how many were in favour of the rule of law? How many were interviewed? Were those who were interviewed Pakistani expatriates living in the UK or those Pakistanis who were born and have lived their entire life here?

    @ Harish – If drinking alcohol was the main criteria for being a MUSLIM,then the overwhelming majority of MUSLIM MEN in the UK can be categorised as NON MUSLIMS.
    If I am reading this correctly you are stating that the majority of Muslim Men in the UK are drinking alcohol, based on the criterion you vis-a-vis quoted? I have lived all my life in the UK and have NEVER come across this made up ‘’Muslim men drinking in the garden shed’ reference. I have yet to come across ANY Practising Muslim who adheres to his 5 pillars and yet drinks Alcohol in the same breadth. This is not to say that Muslims do not drink at all, some do (mostly non-practising), but the MAJORITY of Muslims in the UK is a complete lie unless you can backup your claims with documented evidences or statistics from the appropriate Governmental or health departments. Can you cite the exact source for ‘NHS figures for Cirrhosis suffers in the UK’? Does it mention Muslim men? Recommend

  • Venky
    Jan 18, 2011 - 6:43AM

    If drinking alcohol is not muslim, how about many Hindus who do not drink alcohol become kafirs? To me, religion should leave something to personal choice as long as it does not affect others.RegardsRecommend

  • basanti
    Jan 18, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Pakistanis spreading their ills in britain like virus by attacking white girls,terrorism,now this.Recommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 9:29AM

    Our dears!

    A crops does not grow overnight. It takes long time to bring fruit. Good fruit or bad fruit?

    We have been sowing seeds of evil from more than 40 years. Now we are reaping fruit of that evil that is not limited to Pak only but in whole world & Britain is not the exception. By Allah we are strong Muslims. We respect hight Islam and our great Master Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

    From almost 4 decades, we have given free hand to criminal Jahil Mullahs to preach evil and Number2 Islam to youth. These Mullahs has now brainwashed our generations. These Mullahs has their own brand of Islam which is totally different that the REAL ISLAM that has been perfected upon Prophet Muhammad PBUH and in Noble Quran. These breed of evil Mullahs can be found also in England. So mental state of brainwashed Muslims in England is not much different than the fanatics of Pak. Now situation is out of control. Only a revolution can solve the problem. Like Ata Turk in Turkey. We feel our selves entered in a blind street with dead end when we listen at TV, that Fazal Rahaman and all chief Mullahs are openly supporting a terrorist Killer Mumtaz Kadri. These Musllah twist the Islamic laws as they wish. Near to these branless Mullahs Islam is like wax nose which can be bend to any side.

    Fact is, that Islam is sole one true path of of One Allah that teaches peace, sacrifices, tolerance and love.

    I will end this message with a great quote of THE GREATEST MAN:

    Prophet Muhammad Said in his last Sermon:

    Remember that everyone is a shepherd. You will be questioned about those under your care. If a non-Muslim were wronged in our State, I would personally plead on his or her behalf. Avoid extremes in religion. Peace, O Mankind! Peace.

    O Men! Be fearful of Allah in all matters concerning women. They have rights upon U as U have rights upon them. Treat them well & be kind to them. Remember, they are ur companions, colleagues, & partners in life.

    So waht Mullahs are doing is opposite to the teaching of Prophet.Recommend

  • Anoop M
    Jan 18, 2011 - 11:09AM

    @ True Indian .

    Who are you actually ? Writing under a name where you certainly doesnot belong to . Though your comment doesnot warrant a reply , I bring in light contradiction in what you write . If Mr. Taseer family will feel the pain of death, how do we not feel pain of any innocent human being hurt or killed any where in the world . And dont make fun of a community and its trauma they are currently facing .It doesnt behoove you , even if you are not an Indian .Recommend

  • Burger Boy
    Jan 18, 2011 - 11:48AM

    How revealing that the Express Tribune is editing and censoring the opinions of conservative Pakistanis on this forum and has given complete freedom to all kinds of hate filled comments by Indians rejoicing in the suffering of Pakistanis. Just look at all the forums on this site and you see blatant bias and treason. Why not shift your HQ to delhi or tel aviv.. You obviously have a problem with Pakistan and most PakistanisRecommend

  • naureen.aqueel
    Jan 18, 2011 - 12:15PM

    The problematic comment has been deleted. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Best regards (Web Desk)Recommend

  • nauman idrees
    Jan 18, 2011 - 2:25PM

    hello every body….
    I am dr nauman idrees and i hve read the article and the comments and i am amazed at how biased and blind people can be when it comes to Pakistan and islam
    There is nothing wrong with the blasphemy law.it is implemented in israel and many other countries.
    i believe what qadri did was right.
    Its an open message to rest of the world that live and let us live.
    Any body who will try to de shape islam s law or get in way of it will be eliminated…..and believe me this is what will happen…..
    the message is out there for you loud and clear….yes we are extremists when it comes to islam. we dont speak of others religion and we show tolerance to other religions…why is the west so adamant on changing our beliefs?????Recommend

  • Eradi
    Jan 18, 2011 - 2:40PM

    Well for all the bluster that has been generated by the original article, and my question about where the moderate muslims are, I am still none the wiser. There has been lots of chatter about whether a true muslim drinks alcohol (apparently not, if he’s practising. Can women drink, then?), some rather rabid remarks about Pakistan from Indians and a couple of lessons from the koran which no one who is not muslim will be able to make head or tail of.

    This is not to say that it’s all been biased – there have been some very sensible comments, but so far the only person I have read who has put up any kind of reasonable defence of his faith and condemned all killing is Abdu Samad, and although I am a rationalist (ie not into any god) I wish there were more muslims like him.

    The koran is seems to be infinitely interpretable so that it can be hijacked by anyone to mean whatever they darn well please, and this is what enables radicals and extremists to use it to justify all manner of barbarism. So what I was originally asking is, Who moderates all this? Where is the final version? Where does the final interpretation rest? Why is there no equivalent of say, the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope, to keep everyone on message? (And I’m not saying they are ideal either, but at least they have a hand on the moral tiller of their flock and offer guidance to all).

    Islam appears to have is a bunch of imams who may say whatever they like (and what are their qualifications? So many of them seem to be insane as they advocate violence worldwide) There needs to be some agreement among muslims about what their holy book means, otherwise it might as well be a copy of Star Wars.

    And please read the above paragraph carefully, as it is intended, and don’t start saying that I am comparing the koran to Star Wars. Although even if I was, I would defend my right to offend whoever I like. In any case people who take offence are usually the most insecure, so I always say “Look to Yourself.” Recommend

  • Eradi
    Jan 18, 2011 - 4:04PM

    @nauman idrees

    Why are extremists so intent on killing the rest of the world????

    You say we should live and let you live. Then why don’t you do the same and allow Taseer to live?

    It is BARBARIC to kill people for their beliefs; and to say that it’s ok for you to kill, but not for anyone to criticise is the height of hypocrisy.

    In one sentence you say that what Qadri did was right, and then in another you say “we show tolerance to other religions”. What kind of twisted thinking is this?

    Can you not see the illogic of your position?????

    I wish to state that I will do everything in my power to “get in the way of” any law, islamic or otherwise, that uses killing as a way to justice, especially if it begins to take place in my country. Are you now going to eliminate me?

    You, ‘doctor’, are a disgrace to humankind.Recommend

  • Student
    Jan 19, 2011 - 9:42AM

    hello dr. nouman

    I do respect your words. What Qadri did must be dont by govt. why qadri took this step can any body let us know ?
    because a person keep insulting the Law and no body is there to stop him !!!!
    What qadri did is wrong and it must be done by govt !!!! (what ever punisment)

    This is the message to govt. that let apply the rules/ laws and stop earning there political milage !!!!!
    there should be a boundry to test the Muslims patience!!!!
    is there any body who know why the Muslims are going too impatient !!!! (Although non muslims as well too impateints just go to India and other africian countries “sorry to say”)
    Just because the others are teasing the Islam thats it. Recommend

  • UJ
    Jan 19, 2011 - 3:28PM

    I do not find the views expressed in this article to be balanced at all. This is probably one subset of the community who share similar beliefs and probably have similar circumstances in life. They do not integrate themselves with society at large and so it is no surprise then that their views mirror the views of those on the streets of Pakistan. I have spoken to many educated Pakistanis of all ages settled here in the UK and the predominant majority opposes this act of butchery.

    While I am not denying that the section spoken to by the reporter have these views, it is definitely wrong to make a generalization that British Pakistanis as a whole are keepers of extremist views.Recommend

  • Proud Indian
    Jan 19, 2011 - 10:28PM

    Now,the news is no more neutral.Recommend

  • Imad Pirzada
    Jan 26, 2011 - 8:05PM

    i wonder not a single comment in favor of the law is it because the paper doesnt want to publish it or all these so called enligtened people waiting for these kind of blogs to comment on immediatly. but in between i noticed that who you people are and what is ur agenda.. u will never get succeeded Recommend

  • Proud Indian
    Jan 27, 2011 - 10:03AM

    “”It is BARBARIC to kill people
    for their beliefs…””

    Why to forgot the US-Iraq war than??Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Jan 27, 2011 - 8:27PM

    @Imad Pirzada:

    What about the righteous media groups who are acting as the Taliban media cells? Are they accommodating the liberals? The answer is no. In fact, who does not agree with establishment view, is labeled as traitor.
    And “agenda”? If you are following and yearning for some “goals”, no matter how dirty they are, these are described as “objectives”. And the same for us are given the title of “agenda”. Why do you not use the word agenda for yourself. Who will succeed in what, it is the time which will tell. Recommend

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